Culture Spotlight Featuring Michael Brewer
After graduating from Queens College in New York with a BA in Film/Television, Michael embarked on a distinguished Cinematography career lensing documentaries for PBS, ABC/Disney, History Channel, A&E Networks, Viacom, ESPN and others. His eclectic background as a world traveler and documentarian gives him unparalleled insight and perspective that defines his craft. His approach to filmmaking strives to celebrate the beauty of the human spirit, while encompassing his signature cross cultural experience. PBS Networks have twice recognized him with an Emmy Award for his work on "Reverend James Lawson," a short feature focusing on civil rights leader, Rev. James Lawson and The National Education Award for “Bahia: Africa in the Americas.” The Group W special series, "Evening in India," won Michael a New England Emmy Nomination for Cinematography. Drawn to both nonfiction and narrative stories, Michael's work has taken him to over thirty countries and generated substantial social
awareness and revenue.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? We had a great experience with the HHFF; introducing our music video to a new audience and participating in the talkback. It was wonderful to view diverse genres showing our stories in creative ways. Although "Black Sea'' won the 2021 Silver Telly Award,Urban Mediamakers Festival, and was selected for BronzeLens FF - the HHFF was special because of the specific focus on the culture. It gave upcoming Hip-Hop musical artist, 1000Milan a chance to share his timely and topical message with the HHFF community.
Why are stories from the culture important? Stories from the culture because it connects us filmmakers from the diaspora with stories that we can relate to on a visceral level. It introduces filmmakers with a shared culture and contributes to a database of creative storytellers that we can connect with.
What projects are you working on now? As a director and a veteran cinematographer I work on both my own projects as freelancing on other projects. This weekend I am filming events with the family of George Floyd, celebrating George's birthday, and kicking off The Nationwide Thank You Tour to acknowledge supporters and to promote the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. I am also working on an ongoing documentary about NYC's highest ranking Black Policeman during the turbulent 70's. Since I have a 4K camera/lighting package I'm always interested in working with other creative storytelle
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? Harlem Film House and the Hip-Hop FF are important because it gives filmmakers who love our history and contribute to Hip-Hop culture a chance to tell and share stories about the culture many of us grew up. Harlem Film House is needed to keep Harlem "grounded" and to create space where filmmakers can unapologetically be themselves, while communicating with like minded people and events of interest.